Novels in the 1920s
I. F. Scott Fitzgerald
1. life – participant in 1920s
(1) This Side of Paradise
(2) Flappers and Philosophers
(3) The Beautiful and the Damned
(4) The Great Gatsby
(5) Tender is the Night
(6) All the Sad Young Man
(7) The Last Tycoon
3. point of view
(1) He expressed what the young people believed in the 1920s, the so-called “American Dream” is false in nature.
(2) He had always been critical of the rich and tried to show the integrating effects of money on the emotional make-up of his character. He found that wealth altered people’s characters, making them mean and distrusted. He thinks money brought only tragedy and remorse.
(3) His novels follow a pattern: dream – lack of attraction – failure and despair.
4. His ideas of “American Dream”
It is false to most young people. Only those who were dishonest could become rich.
Fitzgerald was one of the great stylists in American literature. His prose is smooth, sensitive, and completely original in its diction and metaphors. Its simplicity and gracefulness, its skill in manipulating the relation between the general and the specific reveal his consummate artistry.
6. The Great Gatsby
Narrative point of view – Nick
He is related to everyone in the novel and is calm and detected observer who is never quick to make judgements.
Selected omniscient point of view
II. Ernest Hemingway
2. point of view (influenced by experience in war)
(1) He felt that WWI had broken America’s culture and traditions, and separated from its roots. He wrote about men and women who were isolated from tradition, frightened, sometimes ridiculous, trying to find their own way.
(2) He condemned war as purposeless slaughter, but the attitude changed when he took part in Spanish Civil War when he found that fascism was a cause worth fighting for.
(3) He wrote about courage and cowardice in battlefield. He defined courage as “an instinctive movement towards or away from the centre of violence with self-preservation and self-respect, the mixed motive”. He also talked about the courage with which to face tragedies of life that can never be remedied.
(4) Hemingway is essentially a negative writer. It is very difficult for him to say “yes”. He holds a black, naturalistic view of the world and sees it as “all a nothing” and “all nada”.
(1) In Our Time
(2) Men Without Women
(3) Winner Take Nothing
(4) The Torrents of Spring
(5) The Sun Also Rises
(6) A Farewell to Arms
(7) Death in the Afternoon
(8) To Have and Have Not
(9) Green Hills of Africa
(10) The Fifth Column
(11) For Whom the Bell Tolls
(12) Across the River and into the Trees
(13) The Old Man and the Sea
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